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Treasury tells it like it is: Labour should listen

John Key MP National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman

26 April 2004

Treasury tells it like it is - Labour should listen

"It's little wonder the Labour Government has stayed silent about the latest report from Treasury, which confirms its anti-business agenda is damaging our economy," says National Party Deputy Finance spokesman John Key.

He's commenting about a major Treasury report on New Zealand's economic growth released last week that largely credits the reforms of the 80's and 90's for the country's recent high growth rates.

The paper says 'it is important to recognise institutional policy changes, such as the adoption of a transparent fiscal framework and of more flexible labour market institutions and regulations which have been associated with improvements in New Zealand's economic growth'.

"This completely contradicts critics, including Helen Clark, who label the reforms as 'discredited and discarded'.

"It also confirms that there is growing discomfort among the experts about the direction in which Labour is heading.

"Treasury illustrates its point with a long list of recent Government policies which it sees as potentially damaging.

"They include significant concerns about the upcoming tax cuts in the Budget - which will further narrow the gap between work and welfare.

"Also highlighted were employment legislation, infrastructure failures, education legislation, competition regulation and the Resource Management Act.

"Michael Cullen continues to ignore these sorts of reports at his (and our country's) peril.

"When the National Party and the business community express concerns we are casually brushed off by the Finance Minister as 'pessimists'.

"It's in the national interest to push up growth and improve living standards for all New Zealanders - rather than Labour's agenda to seek out and reward only those it deems to be traditional supporters," says Mr Key

Ends

For a copy of the full Treasury report visit: www.treasury.govt.nz/release/economicgrowth/

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